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Thursday, December 31, 2009

Books read in 2009

I got 'new funda' about reading. Here it is: Watching, Hearing & Speaking is a natural talent inherited by each man to observe nature. But reading and writing are 'artificial' which humans inculcate to record their observed data and learn from them as case studies. Hence, we remember more from cinema, music and speeches delivered lively to us. Reading books is a tough process because it requires patience to understand answer to our curiosity. But, if not practised both cinema, art and literature will perish with the time of an individual.

I really want adaptation of the essence in the translation of books in different regions to understand their culture. Artificial and imposed culture will never survive, how homogeneous it may appear. Books fill this artificial way of life to inherited one, because they are reflection of society's dreams, emerging trends, ambitions, past and faults. I am enlisting the names of books read by me in 2009 with their background and my feedback. [Ratings are highly personal.]

Yugnayak Vivekanand (3 parts)- Swami Gambhiranand- Hindi- 7/10
Detailed biographic account of Swami Vivekanand and his thoughts.

I dare !- Parmesh Dangwal- English- 8/10
Biography of Kiran bedi and what makes her say, I dare !

Stay Hungry, Stay Foolish- Rashmi Bansal- English- 8/10
Collection of the inspiring tales of 25 entrepreneurs of IIMA with simplicity and wisdom lines.

India After Gandhi- Ramachandra Guha- English- 8.5/10
Very balanced contemporary history of India from 1947 to 1985.

A better India, A better world- N.R. Narayana Murthy- English- 8/10
Speeches delivered by author about his vision, corporates, economics, ethics and India coming through his lifetime experiences.

Everybody loves a good drought- P. Sainath- English- 10+/10
Jouranlism showing detailed daily picture of how people live under usury, drought, health and educational predicaments as a result of government mis-management in the name of development of poorest districts of India.

India Unbound- Gurcharan Das- English- 9.5/10
It is the history of India's economy transformation from Independence to Global information age.

Monday, December 28, 2009

An army free world

Is brutality committed in the name of patriotism more justified than violence committed in the name of parallel ideologies, be it Maoism, Jehad, communalism, or Hindu nationalism? The Army is doing the same atrocities everywhere, be it Afghanistan, Kashmir or Palestine. But what is happening currently in Iraq ia much more than that. Read Letter to Young Muslimis by Tariq Ali & Kissinger's fantasy is Obama's reality by Pankaj Mishra.

Tariq Ali's lecture in an American University on Afghan War --- “Obama’s Afghan-Pak Syndrome"
For me, Patriotism means loving people not land.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

नीड़ का निर्माण फिर से

नाशाद रहे नाकाम रहे तक़दीर ही अपनी फूट गई जिस शाख पे हमने हाथ धरा वो शाख वही से टूट गई|

Human nature embedded that every time we need to force the pace of change we may have to invent a crisis. Crisis emerged if not invented. So in the time of change, its turning out to be Black December for me...

1- Not selected in the written examination of IRMA by 2 marks.
2- Working hours per week increased by the company.
3- A big escalation of the team (partner in the crime) [Full frontal effect on Appraisal in March]

Failure in IRMA was shocker for me. Once again, a dream was shattered. The grieving will continue for a few days at least. I will vow never to day dream again. But of course I will, and once the pain recedes, I will be grateful for being here at this moment of life. Never say die..

"If you fail to plan, means you are planning to fail.."

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Indian Directors- A Report Card

It is very challenging working under constraint, duality of aspiration and reality of cost. The most important thing is finding your own voice, own independent thinking and creative passion like any other field. The work of auteurs can be identified by distinguish content, an organic quality, capturing the natural light and shade of the city, its raw colours and infinite textures. But, no-one knows the rules of commercial films. Gene Siskel agrees with me: “If admission is being charged, the readers deserve a review.” Hence, I am also producing a list. And still knowing that it is easy to criticize and difficult to produce.

Original inspiration for preparation of this report card was hidden in an article read long back ago. That was a sort of incomplete, hence refining work was done by me. Edited version is much different than original work.

Auteur
Directors- Films


John Abrahm- Agraharathil Kazhuthai, Cheriachante Krurakrithyangal.

Adoor Gopalakrishnan- Anatharam, Swaryamvaram.

Govindan Aravindan- Chidambaram, Kanchana Seetha, Pokkuveyil

Satyajit Ray- The Apu Triology, Satranj ke Khiladi

Girish Kasaravalli- Ghatashraddha, Thaayi Saheba, Dweepa

Ritwik Ghatak- Megha Daka Tara, Ajantrik, Subarnarekha

Buddadeb Dasgupta- Uttara, Kaalpurrsh

Mirnal Sen- Khandhar, Bhuvan Shome, Ek Din Achanak

Guru Dutt- Pyaasa, Kagez Ke Phool.

Jahnu Barua- Xagoroloi Bohu Door, Halodhia Choraye Baodhan Khai

Kumar Shahani- Kasbha, Maya Darpan, Char Adhyay

Bimal Roy- Do Bigha Zameen, Madhumita, Bandini, Devdas

Mani Kaul- Uski Roti, Drupad, Idiot.

Shyam Benegal- Nishant, Manthan, Bhumika, Ankur

M.S. Sathyu- Garm Hava , Sookha

The Representatives of Quality
Directors- Films

K. Vishwanath- Swayam Krushi , Sagara Sangamam , Swarnakamalam

Rituporno Ghosh- Unishe April, Rain Coat, Choker Bali

Ajoy Kar- Parineeta, Saptapadi

Mira Nair- Salaam Bombay!, Monsoon Wedding

Deepa Mehta- Water, Earth, Fire

Shekhar Kapur Bandit Queen, Masoom

Aparna Sen- 36 Chowringee Lane, Mr& Mrs Iyer, 15 Park Avenue

Sai Paranjape- Sparsh, Katha

Mani Ratnam- Nayakan, Bombay, Dil Se

Prakash Jha- Gangajal, Damul

Vishal Bhardwaj- Omkara, Maqbool

Anurag Kashyp- Black Friday, Paanch

Kamalakara Kameshwara Rao- Gundamma Katha, Panduranga Mahatyam

Sudhir Mishra- Hazaaron Khwaishein Aise, Yeh Woh manzil to nahin

Raj Kapoor- Awaara, Mis 420, Mera Naam Joker, Aag

Hrisikeh Mukherjee- Golmaal, Chhoti Si Baat and Naram Garam

Bharathi Rajaa- Pathinaru Vayathinile, Nizhalgal

Girish Karnad- VamshaVruksha, Tabbaliyu neenade magane

Ram Gopal Verma- Satya, Company, Sarkar, Bhoot

Chetan Anand- Neccha Nagar, Haqeeqat

Basu Chaterjee- Dillagi, Chitchor, Choti Si Baat, Khatta Meetha

Gulzar- Koshish, Mausam, Aandhi, Angoor

Jabbar Patel Simhasan, Samna

V Shantaram- Do Aankhein Barah Haath, Dr. Kotnis ki Amar Kahani

Ketan Mehta- Mirch Masala, Bhavni Bhavai, Maya Memsaab

Mehbooh Khan- Aan, Mother India, Andaz

Raj Khosla- CID, Who Kyun Thi?

M. T. Vasudevan Nair- Nirmalayam, Kadavu, Bandhanam

Singeetham Srinivasa Rao- Pushpak, Apoorva Sahodarargal

Balu Mahendra- Moondram Pirai, Veedu, Sadma

Govind Nihalani- Droh Kaal, Ardh Satya, Aakrosh

T. Hariharan- Pazhassi Raja, Oru Vadakkan Veeragatha

K. Balachander- Rudra Veena, Unnal Mudiyum Thambi

Tapan Sinha- Kabuliwala, Ek Doctor Ki Maut

Kamal Hassan- Virumandi, Hey Ram

Gautom Ghosh- Paar, Dakhal,Yatra

Bharathan- Thevar Magan, Thazhvaram

Jandhyala- Aha Naa Pellanta, Jayammu Nischayammu Raa!

Sathyan Anthikad- Nadodikkattu, Pattana Pravesham

Saeed Akhtar Mirza- Salim Langde Pe Mat Ro,Mohan Joshi Hazir Ho!

Shankar Nag- Nodi Swamy Navirodu Hige, Accident

Shaji N. Karun- Vaanaprastham, Piravi

G.V. Iyer- Bhagwat Geeta, Adi Shankaracharya

Utpalendu Chakrabarty- Chokh

B.V. Karanth- Godhuli, Chomana Dudi

Kalpana Lazmi- Rudaali, Daman

Mainstream Filmmskers
Director- Films

B.R. Chopra- Naya Daur, Kanoon, Nikaah

Satyen Bose- Chalti Ka Naam Gaadi, Dosti

Gautham Menon- Kaakha..Kaakha: The Police, Minnale

Dibakar Banerjee- Khosla Ka Ghosla! , Oye Lucky! Lucky Oye!

K.S. Ravikumar- Panchatanthiram, Thenali

Kundan Shah- Jaane Bhi Do Yaaro, Kabhi Haan Kabhi Naa

Bala (I-) Naan Kadavul, Pithamagan

Rajkumar- Hirani Munnabhai series

Rakeysh Om Mehra- Rang De Basanti, Delhi 6

Madur Bandarkar- Traffic Signal, Chandini Bar, Page 3

Mahesh Bhatt- Arth, Janam, Naam

Ramesh Sippy- Sholay, Shakit, Buniyaad

Prakash Mehra- Zanjeer, Lawarris

Yash Chopra- Waqt, Lamhe, Deewar

Priyadarshan- Kilukkam, Kaalapaani, Kanchivaram

Farhan Akhtar- Dil Chaatha Hai, Don, Lakshya

S.P. Muthuraman- Enakkul Oruvan, Aarilirindhu Aruvathu Varai

Kodanda Rami Reddy A.- Abhilasha , Khaidi

Vijay Anand- Gudie, Jhonny Mera Naam, Teesri Manzil

Siddique Lal- In Harihar Nagar, Ramji Rao Speaking

Fazil- Manichithrathazhu, Poovizhi Vasalile

Rajkumar Santoshi- Andaz Apna Apna, Ghayal

Manoj Kumar- Shor, Roti Kapda Aur Makan, Upkaar

Sibi Malayil- Bharatham, Kireedam

Ashoutoush Gowarikar- Laagan, Swades, Jodha Akbar

Sanjay Leela Bhansali- Devdas, Black, Khamoshi: The musical

Sriram Raghavan- Johnny Gaddaar, Ek Hasina Thi

Shimit Amin- Ab tak Chappan, Chak De India

Sandip Ray- Goopy Bagha Phire Elo , Bombaiyer Bombete

Santhana Bharathi- Mahanadi, Guna

Santosh Sivan- Theeviravaathi: The Terrorist, Halo

I.V. Sasi- Devasuram, Kanamarayathu

Pan Nalin- Samsara, Kaal

A. Bhimsingh- Pasamalar, Naya Din Nai Raat

Kamal Amrohi- Pakeezah, Razia Sultan

Nitin Bose- Gunga Jumna

Anant Mane- Pori Jara Japun

Jayaraaj- Kaliyattam, Shantam

Sreenivasan- Vadakkunokkiyantram, Chinthavishtayaya Shyamala

Rajat Kapoor- Mithya, Raghu Romeo

Vidhu Vinod Chopra- Khamosh, Parinda

Ramu Kariat- Chemmeen, Neelakkuyil

J P Dutta- Border, Ghulami

N. Chandra- Ankush, Pratighaat

Shakti Samanta- Aradhana, Kati Patang

K. Asif- Mughale Azaam

Emerging Names
Directors- Films

Vasanth- Aasai

Nagesh Kukunoor- Dor, Iqbal

Umesh Vinayak Kulkarni- Valu

Sandeep Sawant- Shwaas

Chandra Prakash Dwivedi- Pinjar

Farah Khan- Main Hoon Na, Om Shanti Om

Blessy- Kaazhcha, Thanmathra

Anubhav Sinha- Tum Bin, Dus

Pradep Sarkar- Parineeta

Navdeep Singh- Manorma Six feet under

K. Selvaraghavan- Kadhal Konden

Nishikant Kamat- Mumabi Meri Jaan, Evano Oruvan

Ameer Sultan- Raam, Paruthi Veeran

Radha Mohan- Mozhi

Onir- My Brother... Nikhil, Sorry Bhai!

Rajnesh Domalpalli- Vanaja

Anurag Basu- Life in Metro, Murder

Sekhar Kammula- Godavari, Happy Days

Kabir Khan- Kabul Express

Chandrasekhar Yeleti- Aithe, Anukokunda Oka Roju

Nikhil Advani- Kal Ho na ho

Tom George- Lessons

Vishnuvardhan- Pattiyal, Arindhum Ariyamalum

Shyamaprasad- Akale, Ore Kadal

Cheran- Thavamai Thavamiruntu, Autograph

Rajiv Anchal- Guru

Shoojit Sircar- Yaahan

Roshan Andrews- Udayananu Tharam, Notebook

Tanuja Chandra- Sur: The Melody of Life

Renjith- Nandanam, Kayyoppu

Aditya Chopra- DDLJ

Manish Jha- Matrabhhomi

Bhaskar- Bommarillu,Parugu

Priyanandanan- Pulijanmam

Omitted Names: Subhash Ghai, S. Shankar, Rakesh Roshan, Sanjay Gupta, Manmohan Desai, Kunal Kholi, Karan Johar, Anil Sharma, Sooraj Barjatiya etc are not there in this list. Opinions are completely mine and I suggest to all people who read the blog or post to send a feedback and suggestion so that we can really improve and create a certain discourse over the works and standing of “Directors” in Indian Cinema.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Articles on Cyberworld:

1- A fourth of India turning into desert: ISRO study : No less than a fourth of India’s geographical area, or 81 million hectares, is undergoing a process of desertification

2- Communism Lite - Kerala : Story of Communist party in Kerala covered by Karl E. Meyer and Shareen Brysac, for the Pulitzer Center.

3- Doctors without Borders--- An Indian story of not-so-young Indian doctors who left behind their flourishing career in medicine as well as the lure of huge bucks to go and work in rural India.

4- Johann Hari reports The dark side of Dubai and Dubai: A morally bankrupt dictatorship built by slave labour ; Dubai was meant to be a Middle-Eastern Shangri-La, a glittering monument to Arab enterprise and western capitalism. But as hard times arrive in the city state that rose from the desert sands, an uglier story is emerging.

5- Born for others : True accounts of persons dedicated for good of Society covered by By DeCruz Pulikottil & Kanhaiah Bhelari.

This story beats everything I’ve ever read/heard about friendship……

Horror gripped the heart of a World War-I soldier, as he saw his lifelong friend fall in battle. The soldier asked his Captain if he could go out to bring his fallen associate back.

“You can go,” said the Captain, “but don’t think it will be worth it.Your friend is probably dead and you may throw your life away.”

The Captain ’s words didn’t matter, and the soldier went anyway. Miraculously, he managed to reach his friend, hoisted him onto his shoulder and brought him back to their company’s trench.

The officer checked the wounded soldier, then looked kindly at his friend. "I told you it wouldn’t be worth it,” he said. “Your friend is dead and you are mortally wounded.”

“It was worth it, Sir,” said the soldier.

“What do you mean by worth it?” responded the Captain.”Your friend is dead.”

“Yes Sir,” the soldier answered, “but it was worth it because when I got to him, he was still alive and I had the satisfaction of hearing him say…….

” Man…I knew you would come ! ”

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Cinema - To each his own view

Reading Material on Cinema:
Cinephila in India: A search for love and identity : Explore the identity and divisions among Cinema lovers in India. To make India a better place for cinema, there is now a need for professional cinephiles performing responsibilities like film programmer, film critics & film teachers ;

Legend of Gurudutt : The most complete and original stalwart of black and white era.

Sudhir Mishra Interview : Let us know about a director of quality cinema.

Farcical script by M S Sathyu :Unwilling to evolve out of its crude, star-dominated phase, the Kannada film industry is resorting to the language of chauvinism comments M S Sathyu

This is a blog post for those who "see Films", not "watch movies".

The Cinema:
People are not valued in this bollywood industry. Ritwik Ghatak made 7 films that nobody saw. When he died, people started calling him a great filmmaker. Here in India, they wait for a person to die, and helm him in the label of great. This country lives in the shadows of past and never attempt to break the shackles of orthodox tradition. Gurudutt's epic 'Pyaasa' is the true depiction of this cynicism.

Good cinema comes from creating magic moments. The ability to create magic on screen is what separates the great directors from the hacks and DVD xerox machines. A movie maker, on his/her first film, comes with a lot of excitement, openness and willingness to learn ad explore. It is the way bollywood handles this that makes it a dream debut for him/her. But over the time, all the enthusiasm is wasted in fighting a system without any praise or awards.

The only thing maestros have pursued in their lives is film making. But now young directors don't go to waste their time pursuing people to watch maestro like John Abhraham, Kumar Sahini, M. S. Sathyu or Mani Kaul. FTII emerged as major talent supplier in the actors but failed to make its presence noticed in mainstream. All current generation of film makers have grown up watching more world cinema than regional cinema (Indian). But on their side, films are powerful medium expression, so it is very easy to loose your own identity and uniqueness. Kurosawa's, Godard's, Majidi's, Hitchock’s and Kubrick’s of this world can easily overshadow their own voice. Hence, the originality should not be suppressed in making films for growth of Indianness in our films. We need to feel films and at the same time not to loose our style of storytelling.

There are mainly two type of film viewers in India. One who wants entertainment and another who demands for reality. Until, People reject B grade commercial movies in favor of cinema with sensibilities, nothing is going to be change. Commercial Hindi cinema still remains the opium for the masses. We don't take our cinema seriously. Ultimately, what's great about any film is that it should connects and engage to the audience with keeping focus on original content. Easy said than done !!!

There was a wayward fashion in which youth were treated in Bollywood films, where every college student aside from the hero/heroine are party-going idiots or jittery nerds! The trend of depiction of youth or realism is so dead-on and realistic in films like DCH, Wake Up Sid or Mumbai Mere Jaan. There is a change and, the characters talk like how they're supposed to talk, and nothing seems unrealistic about their personality.

The audience wanted something else than typo but they had no option previously. Today, fresh blood is coming into film making. For 40 years, all these stupid filmmakers were saying that we should give the audience what they want, which is a lie. Either Sensible filmmakers were kept at periphery or pushed towards parallel cinema. People love good cinema as per given the diverse choice. Previously, producers jumped into film making due to love of quick money, not cinema. Today independent cinema is supported by cinephile who are watching and becoming part of change with world cinema. Anurag Kashyap put it eloquently "There is cinematic progress as well. One has to be clear that it is relative. In a country like India, a 4 or a 5 is a development, since our cinema is a 3. We cannot think of being at 7 or 8 straightaway. The process of change would be gradual." [Cited]
Upton Sinclair said a great line, truly held on producers of mindless bollywood films : "It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends upon his not understanding it!"

My Cinema:
There is not the single one but many' movie changed my life and turned into passion. Thanks to the pre Cable TV days, I was able to access the regional cinema in childhood on DD. Then, engineering college days opened doors of the heaven. I met with the guys who were equally proactive about good cinema irrespective of language barrier. I stumbled across lots of unknown films from world over and I was awestruck by the stories and characters. I never imagined films to be so meaningful medium of expressions, expressions of thoughts and emotions. Thank you LAN sharing, DC++ and torrents. American, Iranian, Italian, French, Japanese and each tiny nation was giving its own share unique cinematic experience to the world audience. Entertainment is as necessary as anything else but a whole nation is dying to see cute dimples, macho hero, evil villain, plastic emotions and artificial adayen only. That was unexplainable to me. I was ashamed that why film industry making 800 movies can't produce or even encourage genuine film makers.

Then, I read history of our cinema. A subject so critical yet missing in our academic syllabus. 'Winds from the east' was major revelation to understand cinema. And, my big brother helped me lot in understanding this medium. It’s just so refreshing when famous people turn out to be intelligent and really engage in a conversation. And Nitesh was one of them, otherwise too often it’s just rote PR fluff. Passion for cinema & Indian Auteur are full of people who are passionate and know about cinema.

I came across the films which moved me and provided deep insight. During a short span of time, they made me feel, overwhelm, think, travel in time, amaze and wonder. Cinema is thought as ugly thing to work but good thing to watch for entertainment in Indian society. This hypocrisy was understood by me and all mental blockages were opened. Actually watching films is opens your mind. It is just not the time pass but learning for lifetime. We see how filmmakers have expressed their emotions through visual medium and it is not important to watch films, but feel it. It is difficult to feel things because you need to surrender to feel and fall in love with it. I watch characters growing and becoming part of me with each sharing of cinematic moment with film. Long back ago, I’m all of them and they are all me set against that picturesque landscape of fleeting transcendence. Good Cinema is not which gives you what you desire, It tells you how to desire.

Till date, I am known as yayaver to people on cyberworld. My passion for cinema inspires me to the next level: create it. Even if I could not create it, then I will promote it.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Steps leading to the No. 1 ranking

Steps leading to the No. 1 ranking

Harsha Bhogle: The rise of cricket, the rise of India

Something about Indian economy

There is huge learning resource by PBS here in this weblink. PBS is sharing with us the interview, profiles, essay and debates of great economists, leaders and entrepreneurs of recent 100 years. Commanding Heights. Few of them are 3,4 years old but are worth reading Interviews :Dr. Manmohan Singh , P. Chidambaram and NarayanMurthy.

Featuring India's Honourable Minister of Human Resource Development Shri Kapil Sibal on MIT.


This video is part of the B&K Securities MIT India Forum with featured speaker: Dr. Montek Singh Ahluwalia, Deputy Chairman of the Indian Planning Commission.


Crash Lecture on Indian Economy 1947- 2010:

Post 1947, Institutional capacities were created. The social institutions and the legal framework for a market economy were put in place. A system of higher education was developed. Entrepreneurial talents and managerial capabilities were fostered. Science and technology was accorded a priority. The capital goods sector was established. Much of this did not exist in colonial India. They all were started from the scratch with weightage given to huge public sector investment.

Then reform is several sectors were stopped completely. The social sector,i.e. Healthcare and primary education was given very low priority in developmental growth. Our independent India was against anything foreign. Its march to self dependency hindered free flow of information and capital flow in the development of nation. But protective economy was the need of those moment. There was need to move ahead and Dr. Manmohan singh predicted it long back in his days at England. Now its time to swing back to socialist reign to capitalsitic nature.

Indian Bureaucracy:

We've all heard, "It's not what you know, it's who you know.

British invented bureaucracy for India, the Indians perfected it. They built a perfect system of such complexity that nobody could penetrate it,nobody could defeat it. It is immensely elaborate and best brain of India working it. Today, RTI is slowly uncovering the hidden veils and making it more transparent. Still accountability part is far from the dream. The Right to Information Act can be regarded as an aberration in view of the government's longstanding penchant for secrecy, which is a colonial-era legacy. IT sector and bollywood succeed because government did not make it as a national priority. It was just investment of smart people in these respective fields. BCCI working very well unlike other sports bodies. Private Sector has mobilized the youths and enable them to be risk taking.

Bureaucracy liked things to be frozen. That showed their power. Hence, you will find government offices to be always either ruled by the books or moulded in favour of corrupt and powerful. As the social, economic or political events become dynamic, the wheel of power shifts to other person. Hence, the static rule of bureaucracy disappear.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

LC Corner

An adapted post about Limbdi Corner @IT BHU written by Pablo (Source) :-

If you are coming to IT for the first 1 time and you venture along the hostel 1 road, at a certain intersection one is bound to notice a mass congregated in front of a small squarish building. And because that intersection leads to the girls hostel is not the chief reason why people tend to gather at that point. It's because that small squarish building is ITBHU's answer to any ridiculously overpriced fast food chain. That structure is Limbdi Corner, the chief hang-out spot for any ITian who cares to leave the confines of the hostel rooms and take a breath of fresh air. Located at one corner of the Rajputana football field, and surrounded by trees that drape their leaves providing a rather picturesque shade, it provides the perfect break while coming back from classes during the evening, and sometimes proves to be a better alternative than spending time in the classes, there are many who start from their hostels firmly determined to attend classes, but many decide to stay back and spend quality time at LC. There are always two kettles of tea boiling over the coal fire, a small one for ispeshul chai and a large kettle for regular chai. And the short and broad glasses getting filled, emptied, cleaned and filled again. Then of course there are the trademark servings of samosas and kachoris served in leaves with their own taste that is quite unique with LC.

The ultimate rendezvous point for any ITian, a random selection of text messages from cellphones is bound to reveal messages like 'I am at LC, where are you?' or 'Come ASAP to LC' or 'LC @ 5 PM' or words to the same effect. For us LC is the place to meet, mostly due to the sweet allure of the tea at LC.

There is this shade right across the road of LC, which perhaps was earlier used as a bus stop or for some similar purpose, however it is now the designated domain of LC squatters who use their lung power for shouting out orders of tea and for the ubiquitous laughter. It is quite a coveted for whatever group of four or more who wish to sit around and while away their time at LC. LC is the place where over steaming glasses of tea and endless servings of samosa and kachoris friends are made, relationships cemented, people meet, students revel in the present, alumni's rejoice the past and freshers stop worrying about the future. LC is the place where hearts meet, whole events are decided and convened, impromptu meetings take place, a hundred songs get written, a thousand theatrics are performed, where a few hearts get broken. A lot happens over tea, at LC.

#Photo is taken from google image.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Friends: Stand By Me

What legacy I will leave after my death. That question bother me. I can give power, wealth and ego but not my friends. I am feeling that I will die in few years. Just an intuition. I want to express my feeling about my friends in cinematic way as a last note from the film 'Stand by Me'.

Stand By Me is a story of how one event can unexpectedly change lives. It seems to be a story about friends and how important they are, but this possible theme is clearly dispelled in a line from the narration spoken at the end of the film :–

`As time went on, we saw less and less of Teddy and Vern, until eventually they became just two more faces in the halls. It happens sometimes, friends come in and out of your life like busboys at a restaurant.'

Instead, this time less film is about learning from a life changing experience and actually making changes or modifying your life in some way because of it. I am blessed with really good friends who accepted me as I was and cared for me. This post is dedicated to all of mine friends especially intimate ones : Vishu, Sanju, VVS, Chaudhary, Golu, AGP, chammo, kunal, hathi, chandan, and bond. This song is for my friends whom I will never let down:-

Creativity -Search for meaning

People who achieve great success in any discipline - science, business, education, the arts, etc. are always creative. It makes sense to define the creative part of any intellectual endeavor as 'looking for patterns and relationships or trying to create them. I think it does suggest that the definition of "idea" as "a new combination of existing elements" is indeed true. The first is conscious, periodic and primarily externally motivated. The second is unconscious, ongoing and primarily internally motivated.

Truly creative people create not because they want to, but because they have to. They are in a constant state of wondering why, asking what if, and looking for meaning. When meaning isn't apparent, they have to find a way to create it. Creators are meaning makers. They’re in an ongoing (and perhaps neurotic) pursuit of existential stasis.

The search for meaning is inherently emotionally and psychologically volatile. That may be why creative masters as an archetype are moody, insecure and depressed. In fact, as Eric Maisel points out in his intriguing book "The Van Gogh Blues," it's a cliché that creativity and depression go hand-in-hand. But clichés are the children of truth. Maisel writes: "... creators are not necessarily afflicted with some biological disease or psychological disorder that causes them to experience depression at the alarming rates we see. They experience depression simply because they are caught up in a struggle to make life seem meaningful to them. People for whom meaning is no problem are less likely to experience depression. But for creators, losses of meaning and doubts about life's meaningfulness are persistent problems - even the root causes of their depression... Creators have trouble maintaining meaning. Creating is one of the ways they endeavor to maintain meaning. In the act of creation, they lay a veneer of meaning over meaninglessness and sometimes produce work that helps others maintain meaning. ... Not creating is depressing because [creators are] not making meaning when [they are] not creating."

Thanks to Nimmy for providing weblink. Click here for Source of the article.

Thought of the day: Be yourself, be natural. It is far easier than pretending to be someone else.

What does social democracy mean?

It means a way of life which recognizes liberty, equality and fraternity as the principles of life. These principles of liberty, equality and fraternity are not to be treated as separate items in a trinity. They form a union of trinity in the sense that to divorce one from the other is to defeat the very purpose of democracy. Liberty cannot be divorced from equality, equality cannot be divorced from liberty. Nor can liberty and equality be divorced from fraternity. Without equality, liberty would produce the supremacy of the few over the many. Equality without liberty would kill individual initiative. Without fraternity, liberty would produce the supremacy of the few over the many.

The constitution drafted under the chairmanship of Dr. Ambedkar allows equality, liberity, fraternity and justice to every Indian citizen but the law enforcing agencies are in the hands of the elite class. Some part of the Indian bureaucracy and English speaking media is possibly made up of RNIs (Resident Non-Indians), whose children and future, they have ’secured’ in the West – much like the indifferent westener. And this may be the one quality, that possibly is the one thing, that the RNIs and foreigners share – indifference to the fate of the country.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Final Solution: Documentary on Gujarat Riot

Final Solution :-



Final Solution is a study of the politics of hate. Set in Gujarat, India, the film graphically documents the changing face of right-wing politics in India through a study of the 2002 genocide of Muslims in Gujarat. The film examines the aftermath of the deadly violence that followed the burning of 58 Hindus on the Sabarmati Express train at Godhra on February 27 2002. In “reaction” to that incident, some 2,500 Muslims were brutally murdered, hundreds of women raped, and more than 200,000 families driven from their homes. Borrowing its reference from the history of Nazism, the title of the film exposes what the film director calls 'Indian Fascism' and seeks to remind that “those who forget history are condemned to relive it." [Source]

Torrent Download Link
To know more about the film, please check this website.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Vichaar Shoonya +3

A lot has been said, but not by me. I give weblinks of few articles in 'Vichaar Shoonya' because its just that their voices are not in all the noise that gets heard.

1- The disgraceful Armed Forces Special Powers Act allows the army the right to, among other things, shoot to kill based on mere suspicion that it is necessary to do so in order to "maintain the public order". For more details please read this article. This law is applicable in Assam, Manipur, Tripura, Meghalaya, Arunachal Pradesh, Mizoram and Nagaland. Interestingly the residents of these states don't find it exciting to sacrifice their fundamental rights for the rest of us. I see their point.

2- The Ready-made Garment Industry: Global Chain Of Imperialist Exploitation : A revolt of ready-made garment workers have broken out in the last two years in different so-called ‘developing’ countries. A report by Debabrata Mondal.

3- Anjumans deprive Muslim women of microcredit by S A Aiyar, Economist.

4- How the Servant Became a Predator: Finance's Five Fatal Flaws by William K. Black, Univ. of Missouri: What exactly is the function of the financial sector in our society? Simply this: Its sole function is supplying capital efficiently to aid the real economy. The financial sector is a tool to help those that make real tools, not an end in itself. But five fatal flaws in the financial sector's current structure have created a monster that drains the real economy, promotes fraud and corruption, threatens democracy, and causes recurrent, intensifying crises.

5- ‘India is prospering, but Indians are not’ by Mani Shankar Aiyar : The same people who are brushing under the carpet that our relative position on the HDI has not increased are the very same people who are boasting again in comparative terms that ours is the second highest rate of growth. So, obviously, the high GDP growth is not translating itself into commensurate high HDI growth, with the consequence India is prospering, but Indians are not.

6- 'Indian democracy in a state of emergency' : Arundhati roy talking to Karan Thapar

7- Business Of Knowledge- Article on Higer Education.

8- Ten Simple Rules for Choosing between Industry and Academia. --- Journal from Computational Biology.

9- Lessons for life, in black and white. - On power of books.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Questioning the Axioms

1- In general, the misconceptions held by the technical elite are derived from an idea cherished by many in the developing world that pure research leads to technological development and then to products that open new markets or conquer existing ones. This naive “linear theory” or “cradle-to-grave” approach to science and development served as the blueprint for the establishment of the National Science Foundation in the United States and was widely copied throughout the world. But that model fails to stress the interaction that should occur among the phases. As one moves from pure research to technological development and then to production and marketing, unanticipated problems arise that require reexamination and adaptation at the earlier stages. [Source]

2- As any environmentalist or social scientist will tell you disapprovingly, the world simply can’t afford another America. It will simply collapse. But even though no one can quite match America’s excess, the world aspires to it. We see it as Development, Growth, Progress.

3- There is mass sell of public property, land and companies to private enterprise in the name of development. This type of developmental policy is antithesis of real human advance. It is promoted both internally and externally as a way to help the poor. In reality social and monetary capital flows only in one direction. Large companies stake claim to people’s lands and resources, profiteering themselves, offering in return only a fraction of what they take and destroying carefully nurtured and ancient environment. Population driven from rural areas to urban areas are exploited in the name of cheap labour. Developed world is guarding its boundaries and only allowing MNC in the name of free not fair trade. Quite a paradox we live in, where economic hubs are cities and majority of voters in rural sector.

Personal Example:
Sustainability and Development are key words forming a paradox with each other. Sustainable Living is associated with consuming less – being satisfied with a simple and frugal life. Development is associated with never ending desires – always wanting more. Sustainable lifestyle requires Constancy, Sameness and Repetition. Development is associated with Change, New and Transience.

Planned development upheld the principle of 'service before profit', unlike 'What is in it for me? ' principle of companies. Development work is considered intellectually inferior, unlike engineering, industry or diplomacy. I want to prove that it is both a challenging and a noble choice. When I will not associate my identity within social and cultural fabric of their country, nothing is going to change. A person should not be bounded by school of thought but should focus on the need of hour and future. I choose the less traveled path. I see myself as a person who who is practical and makes choices to choose from, instead of choosing the only available choice.

"The Philosophers have interpreted the world in various ways, but the point is to - Change it!" -- Karl Marx

Why preparing for IRMA?
Answer lies in the Approach towards problem:

There are mainly 2 types of approach taken for development in any economy. Top -Bottom approach and vice versa. Its always the bottom up approach has gone successful by proper implemention. The reason of failure of this approach is not that it is flawed, but because it is not supported by those who are able to invest in it. The example of Orissa and West Bengal can be given, where government is encouraging industrialization at large pace, but not able to develop people at the same pace. The result is the improper usage of resources [Economics deals with optimal usage of resources] and there are no rules or regulations in the state. If people are not ready and they are not able to use the resources the industries are generating, what is the use of industrialization. At the later stage the economy will be in a chaos and government will not be able to implement any regulations. People are already opposing such practices. Because they are not ready, or they don't know that it will be beneficial. In such case first Bottom should be developed and not the top.

Past changes in India today were brought about by common people from the masses rather than a top down reform from the top. (While top-down reform was done, it usually followed some courageous and path breaking demands from the masses). Any change is best when organic—rising from the bottom rather than imposed from the top—the odds of assimilation improve dramatically. Urbanization of the rural sector is the way of current development with very limited powers in the hand of people affected by it. IIM or any top notch B school is top to bottom approach and IRMA is like bottom to top approach. In former, connections are made at upper level, money raised and then idea is implemented. Here, an idea is implemented at ground level and thereby driving people into co-operative like structure. No idea how good an idea is, unless people understand it, embrace it as their own and help in implementing them. This is called inclusive development in my dictionary. If the more people's life standard is enriched by it, that is integrated development. The education given in top notch colleges of management mostly makes you isolated from the rest of the country in an ivory tower, more connected to share markets or investment firms of Europe or United States than to the obvious needs of industry, agriculture, and education in our own Bharat.

Currently, I have made "Questioning the axioms " mantra as my tool in doing analysis of any problem. This 'trial and error' thinking tool is given by Srikant Singh citing work of Bernhard Riemann on non euclidean geometry. I was impressed 7 inspired at that moment but implementing this first time. It is helping me lot, will publish some original results soon on the blog...

'If the entire world wants to go left and, you feel like going right, go right. You don't have to make a big deal about it. Just go. Its very easy.' -Sotiri, Yanni's father.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Looking deep into Indian Cinema - 2

Articles:
1- Films? Change the world? by Sudhir Mishra. Political cinema stems from the world around it. It is not afraid to be disturbing. It can laugh at and with the world. It escapes definitions;

2- When was the last time any of our filmmakers became an adjective? Where is the passion? The next great idea? Have things really changed in Bollywood, or are we believing our own hype and hoodwinking ourselves? by Anurag Kashyap .

3- The Bollywood New Wave by Anubhav Pal. Screenwriter Anuvab Pal rides the tide of a new kind of Indian film making that’s bringing bold new visions to global shores…and leaving the old guard lost at sea.

4- What is wrong with Indian script writing? By Gaurav Malani. The script is the USP of my film. But how much truth do these statements hold in the world of Hindi cinema. Almost nil! This unarguable fact came out as a conclusion to the �All Indian Screenwriters Conference� that was held at Film and Television Institute of India (FTII), Pune.

Video:
1- Naseer sir Interview about movies, theater and social issues in detail : 1stand 2nd .

2- Anurag Kashyap Interview to MTV Iggy.

3- Zoya Akhtar Interview to MTV Iggy.

4- Naseeruddin shah and ratna pathak shah in conversation about Parallel cinema and their career. Interview Part 1 , 2 and 3.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Somebody to Love

I have grew up believing that my life will be perfect when I will meet the special one, just by divine fate. But true love doesn't fall in your arms, you have to get it. As I grew wiser with each passing moment, I learned the reality of fragile relations. I was falling for one way love in blindfold fashion.

Love is not a season that comes again and again unlike true love discovered by one of my close friend. There is the wall of casualty around me. I don't know when it will come down. Loneliness is underrated and different from alienation. It also occurs in relations when people pretend to be happy. I am living alone in the mob of relationship, with none to share myself. I require makeover, a complete overhauling is required of my mentality. How much it is important to express yourself in the love !!!

Females either look good or they look very good still the secret lies in compatibility. And when I will feel the warmth of intimate love. People can remain good friend for lifetime. There was a time of innocence and infatuation but I have surpassed that time. The worst thing you can do is to label a relationship. It steals the closeness and affection of the relation. If there is a love, it will blossom one day...

I am evolving !!!

The task is, not so much to see what no one has yet seen, but to think what nobody has yet thought, about that which everybody sees.-Erwin Schrödinger

Career Objective: My prime goal is learning so that I can understand the ways of work and eventually aspire to positions of higher responsibility.

I am gaining insight and losing time with my reading habit. Something, you didn't learn or certified, you just knew it, inside yourself. That's what I call as natural talent. Every creative person gets inspired by someone else and that impression lies somewhere in the subconscious for a long time which does sometimes comes out in his own creations. Its not like genius always does by creativity, traditions form inseparable part of learning.

Taking strong exception to whatever the situation or whichever the difficulties you face, always believe in yourself. Always tell yourself you are better than others. You have some talent and that is why you are in the top notch, so believe in yourself. The ability to motivate others is one of the traits, that will always make you special. Inculcate this habit. Still, always remember: Our strength grows out of our weaknesses and vice versa.

“There is nothing either good or bad,” I had heard in high school, from Hamlet, “but thinking makes it so.” I feel idealism is needed to face and overcome the hour of crisis. Practical mind is bonded by the constraint of orthodox customs and offer limited solution to any problem. Pessimism also don't give any damn solution, its just reality checking point. One of my ideal suggested that Irreverence takes us farther than anything else. It enables us to question the axiomatic dogmas and create new set of standards for the field of work. I am really thinking in that direction. I am evolving !!!

Go .... where none has gone,where dig deeper.... deeper deeper still, deeper till you find the grim foundation stone,you and knock at the keyless gate. knock - Sri. Aurobindo Ghosh .

Friday, November 20, 2009

Sachin is much more than God

To call him India’s most famous sportsman ever is like calling Mahatma Gandhi the country’s most famous politician. Read this article written by Harsha Bhogle 21years ago. As Greatbong puts my feelings about Sachin in eloquent way:

Sachin is much more.
He is a cultural icon, someone who has his place booked in the history books. No not just cricketing history. National history. This is because of what Sachin represents—- the epitome of the Indian dream. A man from middle-class origins, not a star-son or the scion of a political dynasty who rises to the very top by the dint of his own merit, not because he looks good or can shake his body but because he has a genuine skill which very few in the world have, an inspiring success story in a country where the odds against you are mounted in every domain unless you are an “insider” with “jugaad”.

But that’s just half the story. What makes Sachin “God” is because once he has attained fame, he has still held onto the values Indians adore—-that of being humble, unassuming, possessing a commitment to his work which is emphatic without being aggressive, well-defined without being brash. It makes us want to believe. That there is something greater than us, our wallets and our lives.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Observing History

Vinaas Kaale Vipareeta Buddhi: Bal Thackeray has pushed himself and Shivsena downward by commenting on Sachin Tendulkar. Sachin's recent comment that “Mumbai belongs to India. I am a Maharashtrian and proud to be a Maharashtrian, but I am also an Indian,” It is necessary for heroes like Sachin to take a stand openly on grave issues like this as an Indian. It is not any celebrity tantrum but comes from the mouth of two stalwarts of Marathi manoos.The Sena supremo signed off with 'a friendly advice, in your own interest' to keep off politics, I hope our people will now keep Bal Thackery on the brinks of politics. All Indians are welcome to visit, live, stay and become Mumbaikars, but big question remains, how long it take for the city to own you?

In Brief about History: Once that was future, now is the past. I like it because, it makes me humble and give feeling my littleness and mortality. History is my favourite subject in reading for pass time from childhood. I read 10th history book at the tender age of 8 just for fun. Primarily, history is like story book interlinked with each other. Great, good and evil all are intermingled with each other with a huge background canvas. I am now trying to read history more as an inquiry of the past. History unlike maths offer personalized conclusion to the same events, that is indeed the beauty of it.

I have now come to half baked conclusion that history is full of wars, genocide and often power games. Migrants (even refugee) are the worst affected in first phase of war but most prosperous after war times. They impact the tradition, trade and even politics in a strong way. History is always written by the conquering forces. Oppressed has more sense of justice than oppressor, hence history should be studied always from the victim point of view to stand on the neutral point of view. History is like flowing in the waves of time. It gives you insight that it is better to die as unknown than to be lived by vanity driven ego. Someday, I hope to learn in the field of anthropology evolution and big bang. For me, they are more historical archives than human history. I read few days ago, a though provoking quote : The world began without the human race and will certainly end without it.—Claude Lévi-Strauss, 1955

Warning from the Past: On 25 November 1949, Dr Ambedkar made speech in constituent Assembly of India. He speak out three warnings for the future [Source]:

1- The first concerned the place of popular protest in a democracy.

"It means we must abandon the bloody methods of revolution. It means that we must abandon the method of civil disobedience, non-cooperation and Satyagraha. When there was no way left for constitutional methods for achieving economic and social objectives, there was a great deal of justification for unconstitutional methods. But where constitutional methods are open, there can be no justification for these unconstitutional methods. These methods are nothing but the Grammar of Anarchy and the sooner they are abandoned, the better for us."

2- The second warning concerned the unthinking submission to charismatic authority. He quoted John Stuart Mill who cautioned citizens not 'to lay their liberties at the feet of even a great man, or to trust him with power which enable him to subvert their institutions. There is nothing wrong in being grateful to great men who have rendered life-long services to the country. But there are limits to gratefulness. '

"This caution is far more necessary in the case of India than in the case of any other country. For in India, Bhakti or what may be called the path of devotion or hero-worship, plays a part in its politics unequalled in magnitude by the part it plays in the politics of any other country in the world. Bhakti in religion may be a road to the salvation of the soul. But in politics, Bhakti or hero-worship is a sure road to degradation and to eventual dictatorship."

3- Ambedkar's final warning was to urge Indians 'not to be content with mere political democracy and make our political democracy a social democracy as well. Political democracy cannot last unless there lies at the base of it social democracy. Indian Society is full of inequalities and hierarchy.

"On the social plane, India a society based on the principle of graded inequality which we have a society in which there are some who have immense wealth as against many who live in abject poverty. On the 26th of January 1950, we are going to enter into a life of contradictions. In politics we will have equality and in social and economic life we will have inequality. In politics we will be recognizing the principle of one man one vote and one vote one value. In our social and economic life, we shall, by reason of our social and economic structure, continue to deny the principle of one man one value. How long shall we continue to live this life of contradictions? How long shall we continue to deny equality in our social and economic life? If we continue to deny it for long, we will do so only by putting our political democracy in peril."

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Language and Caste

Words are often served both as a sign of resentment and as an expression of pain. There is huge power in the words to heal or injure anyone. Suddenly, I introspect about Hindi vocab used mostly in northern Indian cities. I observed lately that words like 'chamaar', 'bhangi' and sometimes 'baniya' are used by higher caste Hindus to degenerate others in the sarcastic way. This usage of insulting vocab and idioms is high in the previous generation who had lived their childhood in the villages. But, it is embraced by youths of our generation in the daily usage unconsciously. I hope that this usage of caste based remarks will be extinct once notified to the concerned persons. Our changing language can easily reflect attitude towards equality and showcase ours hypocrisy.

Most of the high caste feel utmost pride in their caste. You can find several communities heading 'Proud to be .....' on orkut or facebook. Whole Hindu caste system is based on the inequality which divides people in four major varnas. It is in paradox of equality, fraternity and liberty. I don't believe that either caste system will be washed out in coming 50 years or social system based on the caste will cease to exist. The road ahead requires much introspection...

Recently, Gulzar was targeted on the usage of world 'teli ka tel' in song of the movie Kaminey and Priyedarshan had to remove Barber from the title of Billu Barber. Now, each caste based community is outraged by any reference to the downtrodden past. Shyam Benegal pointed out this phenomenon very poignantly:

In the process of dismantling caste equations, some of the Other Backward Classes (OBCs) and Dalit communities give themselves identities that no longer associate them with their traditional professions. The new identity requires a reworking of community histories and mythology. Any reference to the old identity can only seem offensive. As part of the mainstream, they are likely to lose their special identity.

It is largely for this reason that it becomes important for them to adopt dominant forms of expression so that others may hear or understand their points of view. Even more important for them is to establish their view as the last word. Any expression that they perceive as an attack on their identity is responded to with considerable vehemence.

Deconstruction of myths does not equate destruction, but rather the rethinking and rearranging of the symbolic meaning of history. Instead of judging, we should try to understand, and to this end history can be of use. Times are changing and it is time write new history..

Education in India is primarily looked for providing jobs like any other place. Still, there is no one seriously debating about social practices and caste based discrimination. We have to make a strong statement about human shortcomings and societal hypocrisy, by portraying people with realism and shunning sentimentality. Such a shift in thinking will take time to have an impact on our youths. All men are not created equal. It is the duty of each of us to make them so. For reading about Dalit issues, Degrees without Freedom: The Impact of Formal Education on Dalit Young Men in North India

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Unoriginal Vichaar

When I read the stories of Deep joshi, Venkat Krishnan, Sandeep Pandey & Kiran bedi, it helped me realise that these were ordinary guys who fell in love with something, worked hard at it and came through excellently. I hope that someday I will do something on my own merit, and earn the right to meet them. Till then, learning is the way to go.

Death of Nationalism: CPM is known to have extreme intolerance to any struggle that is not led by them. They will label those struggles as foreign funded or a Maoist uprising, how much public support behind the struggle becomes irrelevant to them. Congress is the mother of all regional parties in nepotism. There are only kripa-patras (sychophants) and chamchas (yes-men) left in the so-called socialist and regional outfit. 'Elections are fought to win and not to lose' , a nepotism supporter proclaim. 'But what of socialism? The lumpen brigade of socialist parties cannot be trusted to usher in socialism. Patriotism is the love to your country, not the refuge of scoundrels like BJP. Nationalism will have fulfilled itself and lost it militancy and would no longer find these things incompatible with self-preservation and the integrability of its outlook. Its the era of transcendentalism by eliminating boundaries of region, religion, color and caste. I dream that a new spirit of oneness will take hold of India.

Message: While awaiting for joining at CSC, Abhishek Arora sent me a sms one day. And It is the best SMS ever received by me---
Hum kuch iss tarah dosti nibhaenge, naukari na mili to bilkul nahi ghabrayenge
dono stationpar chai ki dukan lageynge, tum chai banana, hum chai chai chillayenge.


Mail: This one is from my mailbox (sender name kept secret) about youth icon Sania Mirza (no disrespect, but she is too hot)---
Kashti toofan se nikal sakti hai, Taqdeer kisi bhi waqt bhi badal sakti hai,
Hausla rakh, channel na badal, Sania Mirza kisi bhi waqt jhuk sakti hai...... 



Weblinks:

1- Blogs cannot change India: Atanu Dey

2- Interview of Lord Meghnad Desai

3- Capitalism and Humans Nature

4-Why Operation Green Hunt will fail ?

Today's fortune: To know the road ahead, ask those coming back. Otherwise, Those who forget history are condemned to relive it.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Yaadon ke Jharokoon se ...

We were 5 friends in Kanpur, 'paanch' and core of 'triad' co exist inside it. Sanjay Bose, Vivek Vikram Singh, Gaurav Diwedi, Himanshu Chaudhary and me. All of us stood together in 10+2 and coaching years. We form the quintuple at front benches in 1st year and last benches in 2nd year. We roam manly in Coaching mandi but the favourite market was Rahmani market in Kanpur till today.

Internet: I went to Internet surfing for web councilling of AIEEE with Sanjay first time. The most surprising thing was the mails and pop-up of million dollar lottery prize. I was knowing that it is a hoax. But, surprise does not end here. The faces of white Caucasian female on the screen amazed me. The underline heading was 'Make friends with beautiful girls in Kanpur'. I was cleanly taken surprise that "where the hell these girls are, even if they exist in my city ? " . Till today, I have no clue of them.

Crush Story: There was a girl in our physics coaching of Anish Sir. She was beautiful and fair like nothing ever seen by me till now except Namrata Singh of class 10+2. No metaphor can describe her beauty to me. After the end of each class of Anish sir, only 20% junta remain in the class to talk or discuss problems with friends. She used to sit there for 10 minutes just chatting with the friends. In this short span of time, I use to gaze her continuously. Such was her beauty mesmerizes my mind. It was daily routine for 1 year. Then comes IIT JEE prelims examination in march 2004. There were 56 centers in the Kanpur accommodating atleast 500-2000 in each center. And she was sitting in same classroom of examination center. It was like one of the rare probability coming true. Alas she was not selected for the 'mains' round. I noted down her roll number and checked her result before mine. That was the end of the crush story. It was like beautiful dream which refreshes soul and makes memories sweeter. Also, I don't know her name and never attempted to..

More stories about Kanpur: In the praise of Rahmani Market & Review of Baabarr: A violent tale of a don of Kanpur

Thought of the day
: Stop being angry with life because it does not give what it cannot give.

Friday, October 23, 2009

My Graduation Years -2

You can get me out of ITBHU but not ITBHU out of me. (asliyat mein bahut muskil se pass hua hoon). Hence, few days of rehabilitation programme end today with this article.

Graduation Years:
Again, a look on events in near history. Probably history was after all, meant to be a study of human consciousness in guilt. Of course, there is always a need to realize something valuable out of the past, that a study about the past is after all a human being’s reverse-troubleshooting guide. Hence, I retrospect about my graduation days again and again. I may be cutting the branch which has helped me to reach this height. Still a flaw in the system can't be supported in the name of promoting few incompetent like me. When I was passing time casually in graduation years, rest of the world was moving with fast pace. I was provided with good teachers, infrastructure, 24 hours uninterrupted supply of Internet, water and electricity in college to support my study. I had misused them un-proportionally in playing LAN games and watching movies. I have taken cinema as a medium of study and academics as a funny event quite neglected one. It was not a mistake but college life doesn't ask for seriousness, it just asks for your little sincerity a week before exam.

There was a great movement of locals in Mehendigunj near Varanasi by people against Coca-Cola. I was not even aware of it at that point of time. There was life out there in university with people coming to study different subjects from all class. I was happy with my limited ecosystem of ITBHU. I had also missed many guest lectures of eminent speakers [ even like Professor Kevin Warwick ] due to lethargy, not mentioning here academic lectures. And I was even worst in academics. My only concern was why my college has not got deserved IIT tag. So, my world was revolving around me only. I was a product of environment or a selfish elite unaware of his responsibilities. I was having cocoon type of life style. I was eyeing on secured IT job depending blindly on the placement records of IT-BHU. If the recession has come 2 years back, I would be literally passing out without any job in hand. Such was my state of affairs. Few positives were there inside me but that are in traces in everyone. Today, I learnt a bitter lesson that immaturity and short sightedness is not dishonesty but not performing to your potential due to laziness is wrong act. In short, a worthless life on priceless freedom.

General Life at ITBHU:
The quality of a university is measured more by the kind of student it turns out than the kind it takes in. An average ITian becomes too casual and consider ITBHU as break of his life. There is lack of seriousness in the atmosphere. Lots of us would have better careers than what we are left standing with today. I think this under utilization of the potential within and resources given is felt somewhere by each of us.

How ITBHU Administration works? :
Our administrative work in IT-BHU or any government college is mostly run by the bureaucratic way, hence its tough to have progress in them. Decisions are taken from the top and imposed on the students. Their is no official platform to raise voice of students except itbhuglobal.org for big issues. Also, dissent is neglected and often taken as indiscipline and disloyalty. Bureaucracy liked things to be frozen. That can show their power & pomp, that can show their status quo. Best example to support this is of Ambassador car. Indians inherited the Ambassador model, decided not to change an iota of the design. Till late 80's, Ambassador was the least innovative company and was much prized possession used by our government.

Hence, you will find government offices to be always either ruled by the books or moulded in favour of corrupt and powerful. The fact is government institutions work on directives from the top. It does not matter, whether they like your idea or not, see merit or not. There is no incentive for them to take risks and improve efficiency. The trick is to lobby at the highest level for reforms. Because if one person at the very top accepts your suggestions it will be accepted and implemented at the way down. No doubt this requires a lot of patience and persuasion, but the effort is well worth it.

Academics:
We have a typical system of studying the subjects which are given by the university and not selected by the students which they like. For an instance the recent Nobel Price winner De. Venkat is a PhD in Physics and got Nobel in Chemistry, can it be possible with our education system in engineering college. The course structure is killing human potential to learn something new and of their choice. IT-BHU has very rigid academic course structure. It needs to rearrange something like IITD undergraduate mechanical engineering programme. Check the number of compulsory core and elective subjects for learning. And now look at academic course structure of ITBHU undergraduate mechanical engineering programme.

We still follow the traditional methodology of teaching. Very few in India have implemented the Case Study, Role Play, Skits, Management games way of teaching. We are here running fully on [lecture] model, not on as proposed [lecture+ tutorial] model. Atanu Dey's article on IIT shocked me and helped me to change my stance on IIT system of education. Our fancy education is funded by denying a very large number of the really poor the opportunity to even get a basic education. Our fees have been a small fraction of the true cost of education. This self-absorbed and delusional state is harmful for the us and the country.

Blast from Past:
On higher education, Banaras Hindu University enquiry committee report 1957 ; Page 325- 348
Committees and commissions in India 1947-1973, Volume II , 1955-1957 By Virendra Kumar.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

On Rehabilitationn

I am abandoning my blog for few days. Internet surfing has become like drug addiction. And I confess that I put URL of this blog on gtalk for its promotion. I sit as a watchdog and count the number of hits on my blog. Its so contradictory to what I write here. Enthusiasm kills discipline, and I had already lost my will power during my engineering days. I had ruined my career and lost my power to concentrate on any work. My advice to all of you, Don't work in the company with the bond duration. If you don't like the work, it will become bondage, both financial and time. I have so much to say with few persons who read this unfortunate blog... Just going on rehabilitation through exile and trying to focus on anything. Don't ping me, call me or scrap on orkut asking about my mental state.

Tanhaa Hoon

I am feeling alone. Its not solitude but alienation from the friends. I am just writing this fucking thing and addicted or obsessed with the blog maddeningly. I don't know where is the life ?

Monday, October 19, 2009

The Six Mantras for Internet

This article is edited version of article produced at PFC. I am producing it without any permission. For original and detail version, click this:

This desire to keep things “exclusive” on the Internet beats me especially when it comes to a movie promo. The whole idea of promoting is to ensure as many people see it. There’s a false sense that their promos are so exclusive, the stars so saleable that people will start streaming into any site that is created. Here are the mantras of Internet and making your website popular:

1. The Internet is NOT a Private Property:

e-Commerce website was built was quite slick and much ahead of it’s time, featuring a downloadable software. Like every fantastic tool we had built ahead of time for the company, but no one had a clue hardly any usage of this website tool. After launch of the website, there was a certain spike in the number of customers using downloadable software. The initial adopters of the tool were so amazed they started talking about it on the various website, chats, message boards and forums. Then download links of the software started appearing on these forums, much to the disdain of company. They did not want this. They wanted the software to be downloaded ONLY from their site. They started demanding all such links be removed from the sites. They were forceful. They got what they wanted. And within a few weeks the number of hits on their site fell sharply. In short they had crushed themselves the chain reaction building towards promoting their very own product.

Why was the software not allowed to be downloaded from anywhere else on the internet? Nobody could have done anything with it except build the component they wanted to and press the order button which would inturn order the component at the client via the internet. Nothing else could be done with it actually and the tool was trademarked, so no competitor could even copy, modify and use it.

The problem lay in thought. Not in the product. The internet is a place to spread it out rather than have a place with tall fences around it. This is a major problem, Shifting the thought and understanding of the internet and how it can be used for gains. As soon as one understands that the Internet is a public arena and cannot be treated as a private property, the quicker, major companies have noticed the gains that follow. The shift in their understanding brings in a drastic change in action plans & strategies.

Everyone wants a “chain reaction”, “a buzz” for their product. That will never happen until your basic understanding of the internet shifts from “I own it” to “It is free for everyone to use”. Companies hesitate to allow their products for everyone to use with thinking "It is MINE", Ofcourse it is. But to get people to use your product, you can’t lock down the various promotions, news, items, materials etc. and treat EVEN THOSE as your private property online. You have to let these out and loosen them free on the Internet.

2. It is NOT “All for One” BUT “One for All” :

Each of these companies in Bollywood wants all Internet surfers to come to them (All for one). Unless and until you are a Google or MSN or Yahoo, you can’t expect (and it is almost criminal to think thus), that the world will come to your website to watch what you have to offer (All for One). The Internet is much more sophisticated and effortless for people to follow this line of thought.

Rather the flow of the product, information has to flow from inside out – to everyone out there on the Internet. The Internet is other words should be visualized as the “infinite”. Every web-surfer has developed and sunk into their own ways and methods of surfing the Internet and visiting the sites they want to. If in this environment you introduce the process of “forcing them” to come your site for the information you want to provide, rather than making it freely available at the sites of their convenience, you will lose them before you can say KaBoom. Every blog, site or community group has it’s hardcore fan base. Your “All for One” policy is a direct negative action to make them come to your site. in direct touch or even be able to identify their core audience.

It doesn’t work. Not in terms of hits. Which you “may” get, but in terms of actually being able to identify and forecast how your film’s sales via the Internet audience will be. Tragically statistics will never be discussed by your web developers and Flow and spread your information out. Restricting it only will result in barring your very probable targeted consumers.

3- Your website will never work like Instant Coffee:

Be ready with your website much before Product or event expected to release. Every company wanted the website to attract maximum visitors online, so everyone would come to know about his product/movie or event. Your website will get dismal hits and have no impact on the finacial profit however beautiful, flashy and truckloads of money you pour into it – if you are going live within less than a substantial time before release date of your product/ event.

How will you get web surfers to visit your site?
Perhaps by advertising, perhaps by putting banners on other websites, perhaps sending a media kit to the media to talk about it – Notice what has happened here – your focus has instantly shifted from your movie to promoting your website. Bad idea again!

Do you know that the maximum of movie website DO NOT have more than a 1000 total visitors! And even an average blogger worth his salt writing a few times a week gets a 1000 visitors within a few hours each day! And above all the blogger didn’t spend a dime to create his site!!!

It takes 3 – 5 weeks for a search engine crawlers to search and get your site on their radar. The crawls become less and less the less frequently your website is updated. The crawls become negligible once your movie has released and now you are not doing ANYTHING on the website.

Go to Google or Yahoo or any search engine of your preference. Type in the name of the movie. Click Enter.

Now watch the results. On what darn page of the search results does your website show up? And which are the sites which come up before you, specially those which get listed on pages one and two.

What does this mean? Even the search engines do not consider your website important rather they prefer those sites which have more material, more content, much more updates about YOUR movie.

So what does this mean? Where did we go wrong? Well, it means you are not aware or were not told by those building your website that you build your hits- you attract new people to your site primarily through search engines – for free! And that will never happen in a few weeks.

The internet should not be treated like Instant coffee – snap – you make it. snap. you have it. It’s a ridiculous misconception. The one question though nobody asks at such web site discussion meetings is HOW? How will people on the internet become AWARE of the website? Is it realistically possible to get a million or half a million people to come visit and interact instantly? A safe answer is no. Unless you are Digged a thousand times or someone has Stumbled Upon your site a few hundred times. (refer Digg, Stumble Upon on the Internet)…

4- The Fanboys are your best friends. If not, let your product/event R.I.P. :

A few years ago, a blogger in the USA mentioned something about a movie which was about to start production. It was a funny blog. A couple of other bloggers and websites picked it up. Then a few more bloggers picked that story up from those sites. It started a chain reaction. A few websites started a contest ‘What is the story of this movie?’. A few bloggers started a comic strip. A few sites even started contests like the Funniest comment on the movie for the week.

Over a million sites and blogs were talking about the movie. And the producers had not yet spent a single dime on the marketing!!! A year later the movie released. One million fanboys converged to watch the movie in its opening weekend. Some found it real good B grade stuff. Some found it bad. Almost all agreed it wasn’t a classic, yet it was a real fun to go and watch it.

The movie was Snakes on a Plane. And it was successful purely because of the fanboys.
Which means the producers actually snipped the pipeline which was supplying them with customers and more potential ticket buyers. But at the end of it all, it was found that the hits on the producers’ created website was less than 3% of the fan’s site. few blogs being built by those who follow his work and who diligently are collecting every piece of information available online to plug it into their website. There is a lack of punch. But just a little bit of grease can set the wheels rolling. These are your messengers who will spread the word about your movie. These are the people who have websites or discussion boards or blogs, which are in turn visited by a few hundred to a million visitors each day. This is your dream. Connect with your fans. Identify your markets. Connect with them and inturn you will connect with each of the fans who visit those sites and over and over…

5. Your Website Developer is NOT your Web Strategy Advisor:

Your website developing company IS NOT the expert on planning your internet promotion strategy and neither is your marketing team who handles the traditional forms of marketing for your movie. There are many people I know (many on a personal level) working as CEOs, VPs, Brand Strategists, Marketing managers… that are so easily confused over this, having a quite common misconception that – the company building the website, for their brand or product, is the go-to-guy for receiving expertise on Internet promotions and marketing. web developer’s expertise lies in building the best website for you that suits your needs and demands. The developer should not, under any circumstance be handling the critical and foundational responsibility of building the internet marketing strategy. Website Development and Website Strategy are two entirely different things.

A developer builds a hundred odd websites a year. He is and should not be concerned over the success or failure of the website built (unless there is a technical coding angle to it). Whereas an Internet Marketing Specialist follows and track thousands of websites every single week, keeping tabs on new products and brands launched, the strategies behind them, their impact, trends, hits, demographics, identifying the core audience for each site amongst a million other data points.they can convince you to build a site with a million features even if at times there is be no need for all those features!
Your Internet strategy needs to be laid down BEFORE the shooting of the movie has even begun. NOT three weeks before the movie’s release. What Bollywood has not yet got a grip on is that the Internet can be a much cheaper form of creating a buzz for their movies in contrast to the costs for promotion on television and radio. The difference is, it requires time and a few people. And the time begins when the movie is being made, not after it is ready for release.

And that strategical plan is built for you by Internet Marketing Experts or Consultants, not the company that builds your website. Approach a Web Marketing guru much before you decide who will build your website. Not Vice versa.

6. It is not HOW MANY hits, but WHO hit YOU:

And that is the question you should ask yourself and your web team when they produce statistics of the number of hits of your new product’s website or images or stills or blogs. Does this number (of hits) means many people will come to your event or more product will be sold for sure? Does this mean you now have a sure base of X number of customers from online who will go for product/ event.

If your panel says yes, fire them immediately. Just mention “Thank You” behind the check you send me for giving you this valuable advise. What does it all mean?

It is not about the number of hits. But who! Your target – the concentrated base that will read about your movie, event or product and put money in it. The focus is to find your target audience wherever they may be for the movie you would like to promote to. Rather than play a lottery game on portals or sites which offer a high but diluted target, find where your concentrated base is. Those are the sites to go for.

In Transition

My heart was not in student activism: I was and am a reader, therefore a daydreamer also. There is so much to read and learn before closing my eye. I had realised that there is no joy which can equal with the joy of giving to someone in need. I always feel like as an ocean drop trying too hard to search identity with holding his ego as singularity and uniqueness. Still, I know that I am similar like all of rest drops and they are all me set against this time and space of fleeting transcendence. It is the best way devised by me to understand myself. I ventured outside my fixed realm making it a point to learn a thing. I am here continually evolving or contracting, who knows, but there is a prominent change or even mutation each moment. There arises so many amounts of crest and trough ideas inside me. Most of the times, they are absurd and quite bizarre. I also now days think of perpetual transition of my age and thoughts.

I search for the meanings of these abstractness in material world as to what’s the logic behind the everything. What is the use and explanation of such thinking phase in the past one hour. I look back and find most of it as futile. Its not even good to extract a good story. Still I find that writing and thinking about myself only will put me in more poignant way in the front of all. They may be sympathetic towards a image of loser rather than someone like me. But I am sure that my image as the loser is much more interesting than a stranger as a hero.

I have read something and a old feeling comes to the surface. That something was --

Death is inevitable that makes us question things, events and everything. Death makes us ask 'why are we here?' . Death scares us. Death inspires us to think, to create, to acquire knowledge, to question, and all this possibly so that we may leave a legacy. Ultimately death humbles us. So death or rather our mortality is probably the ultimate source of inspiration for humankind.

I am thinking these days more and more about death. Someone suggested that imagine death as something that’s coming towards you rather than you going towards it. I am unable to see death as pessimistic way but rather something mandatory which will end my identity. Still a fear of death is inside me. I have recently put Yaksha Prashna on my blog. One answer of Yudhister line to Yaksh is knocking me again and again in my conscious.

In the famous Yaksha Yudhishtir Samvad in Mahabharata, Lord Yama in the form of Yaksha asks Yudhistir many questions which Yudhistir answers with wisdom. Each of these answers can be explored in depth individually. Of the many questions, I found one very poignant and full of philosophy of ours perpetual transition ---

Yaksha asks Yudhistir: 'What is the most strange thing in life?
Yudhistir answers: 'Each moment death strikes, and we behave to live like immortals'.

Chalte Chalte:
Don't take my writings as original and me as very accomplished writer in English language. Words only represents my mood and metal state. A statement may be original and may be not. I have also copied bluntly others works without giving them credit if there words are expressing my experience in more clarified way. I believe that its not originality but message should be given more stress. The message should not be lost in metaphors and complex sentences. Originality isn’t everything. In the world of writing, art and design, originality is highly prized, but sometimes the emphasis is a bit too strong. The point of design isn’t to be original, but to speak a message effectively. If a highly original design does it, so much the better. But sometimes you have to reach the audience by expressing yourself fully.

Thoughts of the Night:

“The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, but wiser people so full of doubts.” - Bertrand Russell

“Education is the passport to freedom and liberty, the future belongs to those who take advantage of it TODAY.” - Malcolm X

There are two mistakes one can make along the road to truth- not going all the way and not starting. – Lord Buddha

“To change the world, give the world what you have. And serve the world with what you are.”

"Many people would rather die than think, infact most do.” - Bertrand Russell

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